When he was in school, Bhaskar Sagar learnt about ‘Kala pani’. The history buff in him wanted to go and visit the historical sites in Andaman — Cellular Jail where freedom fighter Veer Savarkar was incarcerated. He finally visited the sites, beaches of Andaman, last May and came back with sketches, paintings and photographs. His paintings of the picturesque islands, which were done on the spot, will be displayed in the Darpan Art Gallery from today (January 3).
Some of the paintings have also been collated into limited edition desktop calendars. The exhibition is titled ‘Andaman — The Emerald Islands’.
The artist, who was accompanied by two of his friends to Andaman, stayed there for a fortnight, visiting the touristy and non-touristy places. Says Sagar, “My friends wanted to experience an artist’s perspective of places and monuments. So they accompanied me. Together we went to Cellular Jail, then we also went to Ross Island, where Netaji Subhashchandra Bose had stayed briefly. We also captured the ‘natural arch’ at Neil Island.”
Sagar has also depicted the life as seen in Port Blair, the only city in Andaman. “I was curious to see the city life of Andaman. So I have captured the Aberdeen Bazar. I loved the houses in Port Blair; they have sloping tin roofs, not the usual red roofs that we associate with coastal towns,” he explains.
Can any depiction of Andaman islands be incomplete without a mention of the beaches? Sagar too fell in love with the translucent, turquoise blue waters and the clean beaches.
“I went scuba diving to see the underwater marine life. The beaches are beautiful; the water is clear and the colours are unimaginable. The watercolours I used could barely do justice to the colours that I saw around me,” he adds.
Sagar, who has been travelling across various states every year, says that he wants to combine his love for landscapes and history in artworks. “A landscape doesn’t necessarily have to be an image of a rising or setting sun flanked by palm fronds. I find natural beauty in monuments — caves, temples, old houses, palaces etc. There are about 1,200 rock cut caves in India, out of which 800 are found in Maharashtra. I have sketched and painted them,” says the artist, who has passed out from Abhinav Kala Mahavidyalay.
So far he has captured Hampi and the temples in South India on his canvas. He also went to Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Kashmir. Next, he wants to travel across India, and represent his country, through his artworks.